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An EXHIBITION of photographs taken by Palestinian children of everyday life in their military-occupied village has opened at the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral.

Children in the West Bank village of Bil'in worked under the guidance of Liverpool photographer Elaine Stapleton to produce a moving set of images.

Bil'in Exhibition at Met. Cathedral 010.JPG

The work was commissioned by Liverpool Friends of Bil'in, who work to end the human
rights violations suffered by the village's residents.

ofotcn.jpgA touch of classic movie magic is coming to New Brighton as 'One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest' takes to the stage in a theatre interpretation of the film.

First performed six years ago where it sold out, the play has been brought back by popular demand this time to the Floral Pavilion instead of the small scale stage it started on.

The production is being run by Vesbim Media, a small not-for-profit company that hold the annual Wirral International Film Festival where filmmakers and audience members can attend for free.

Alan Veste, Director of the play, said: 'The Floral Pavilion is a bit more expensive so we thought as long as we breakeven that's fine. We don't want to charge too much, we want it to be reasonable. It's a platform for actors who don't normally have one from the community.'

The iconic film is a firm favourite with the director and the reason behind the decision to follow the film's style rather than the book's, as well as the belief that audiences would relate to it better.

Set inside a mental ward, the play follows the story of the patients as they plan to rebel against the head nurse encouraged and led by troublemaker R.P. McMurphy (Jack Nicholson).

Outdoor scenes will use film footage captured by the company in a bid to breathe new life into the classic combining film and theatre and performed with a cast of 20 local people including rangers from Birkenhead Park.

Alan said: 'It's quite funny because all of the cast actually look like the film cast. Jimmy Mulhearn, who's playing Jack Nicholson's character, said I'd love to do that role and I said you can then because you look like him! The actor playing Danny Devito looks like Danny Devito and the actress playing Nurse Ratched really looks evil!'

Around 150 tickets to the play are being donated to Wirral charities, divided equally for them to sell to help them to raise money.

The charities are Age UK Wirral who support elderly people, The Yellow House Liverpool who provide activities for disrupted youths and The Purple Team Wirral run by two parents who lost their daughter Annie Kell to a brain tumour and fundraise money for several charities.

The production will run for two nights from August 22nd-August 23rd. Tickets are on general sale for £12.50. For more information please go to and to book tickets visit or call 0151 666 0000.

SPOTTED John Moores Painting Prize 2010 winner Keith Coventry in this video of artists talking about their work being included in the BP Walk through British Art at Tate Britain.

He's at the end but it's worth watching right through.

Gaze at Pride

By Linda Pittwood on Aug 3, 13 07:14 PM in Visual arts

Against the backdrop of Liverpool's third annual Pride festival, Marcus Wemyss is holding a one-day-only exhibition exploring craft, art and love. I met him at the Fallout Factory on Dale Street to ask him some questions about his fringe event, Gaze.

LP Pride is usually known for outdoor and performative events - why did you want to do an art exhibition as part of the event?

MW I noticed all the Pride's around the country had fringe events - Manchester, Stoke - and I wanted to help bring that to Liverpool. Liverpool has a strong LGBT cultural landscape spearheaded by Homotopia and it makes sense to exhibit when the city is full of people who might want to see some art.

LP How come you are only a two day event?

MW We just wanted to be here for Pride day. We had an opening event last night, which was really well attended and good fun.

LP Can you tell me a bit about the exhibition?

MW All the artists are part of a collective called Surface, of which I am the Director. We wanted to exhibit fine art alongside more craft-based pieces and smaller items for sale. The five artists in the show are me, Nick Franklin, Russell Gregory, Denise O'Sullivan and Kate Lynch. All apart from Nick are based in Stoke. It might surprise people to know that there is a really strong community of artists in Stoke!

LP Can you tell me a bit more about the artists in the show?

MW As I mentioned, Nick is the only artist not based in Stoke, he is from Manchester but exhibits widely. Kate Lynch does a lot of work with a gallery called Airspace - her work is concerned with regeneration. Modernism and urban life seems to unite all of the artists in the show. The gift pieces are all sort of up-cycled and recycled. Denise O'Sullivan makes ceramics, picking up on Stoke's heritage but combining it with kitsch imagery. Russell Gregory produces quite haunting, spiky paintings of the human form.

LP Can you tell me a bit more about your work?

MW Its mainly erotic art that I produce, working in impasto with a palette knife, putting down the main information and then working over it. I use the internet as source material, but I tweak and change images - make them bolder. I have also included some of my newer digital work in the show - it combines masculinity through suit culture and femininity represented by flowers, and explores these ideas using manipulated pornographic images.

LP Are your pictures meant to challenge people?

MW They are meant to catch people off guard. I play with attraction and repulsion. Some are more tender, I get a really good response from people to my Kiss series. It's as much about longing and tenderness as sexuality - I paint how I feel. If people do object to an image of two men kissing, I hope that they will leave asking themselves the question: why do I feel like that? Not everyone will automatically accept it. That's why its really good to do shows during Pride.

LP Who are you influenced by?

MW My heroes are Eric Fisher, Marlena Dumas - her work is so erotic - and David Hockney creeps in.

LP Do you have any particular partners in the city?

MW Joan Burnett from Liverpool Pride has been great, as have Fallout Factory and the Stanley Street Quarter. We are planning to come back next year and start more of a dialogue with artists in Liverpool - they seem to have loads of local support.

LP What are your plans in the short term future?

MW Stoke Pride next week, we are exhibiting as part of the fringe there - no one believes me that Stoke has a Pride! Then Manchester Pride next month.

horror.jpgTeenage horror film fans are being given a fantastic opportunity to become film-makers by creating their own ghost film to be screened at a local cinema and it's a project I most certainly recommend.

The Plaza Community Cinema in Crosby are holding the event in partnership with Cottonfield films and are asking for teens on their summer holidays aged from 13-19 to get involved in making their own scary film.

The aspiring film crew will get help to script, act, film and produce their own ghost movie with theatrical make-up provided and a premiere of the finished piece at the cinema.

When I was a high school student, myself and two friends wrote, filmed and cast our own vampire film (before the likes of Twilight caught on) for our GCSE media coursework and it was one of the most fun and creative things I've ever done.

Several nights throughout the week we would go out on location armed with a camera, a tripod and of course the essential fake blood and vampire make-up.

As well as the laughs we had during shooting, there was no better feeling than seeing something you've created from scratch come together and be able to show it to your friends and family and the entire online world if you want.

It also inspired me to take up film studies at A Level where I made two further films and found it was a subject that I really enjoyed studying and gave me confidence using a camera and editing suites which comes in surprisingly useful.

If you are a young, creative person looking to do something interesting with your time off that is both fun and rewarding, then why not give it a go!

The Plaza film project is completely free and will run over the summer holidays starting from 5th August-29th August 2013 from 10am-3pm.

For more information or to book your place contact Christine Physick on 0151 928 1530 or e-mail

My name is Andrea and I'm one of Liverpool's 5 Cultural Champions and this is a guest post for the Liverpool Daily Post Arts blog.

1010341_10151771590107152_827045149_n.jpgOne of the abiding memories for me as a Cultural Champion was taking part in the Giant Spectacular in 2012. The best part of the whole event for me was taking an event out of the city centre and engaging with people further afield. And the people of North Liverpool did us proud!

Which is why I was so thrilled on Tuesday to see the launch of an exhibition called "Facing the City" at the newly opened Art Gallery on Stanley Road, Bootle. The brainchild of artist Alice Lenkiewicz, The Art Gallery is smack-bang in the middle of the community and Alice has some big plans for the little place.

Displaying work by local artists, Alice also plans to develop The Art Gallery so that artists can use the space for workshops and to preview their work.

She's also keen to engage with the local community and the first event is an open day on Tuesday 23 July from 12-5pm, so do pop along to catch the Facing the City exhibition and talk to Alice herself. Having been there, I can tell you what a warm and welcoming place it is.

The work up on the walls is quite extraordinary. Facing the City is made up of work by local and national artists showing their interpretations of people they know from past and present. Covering a whole range of characters, there are some fascinating pieces from artists like Jazamin Sinclair and photographers John Lloyd-Quayle, Michael Kirkham, Graham Smillie and Karl Raven and a particularly great picture "Maisie" by Adam Akins that I could have stared at all day long.

Every picture and every face has its own story to tell, such as Wesley Storey's image of the poet Henry Graham and Andy Green's magnificent portrait of April Ashley (who you must Google!). It's not often you get a chance to stare into the face of another person and study what makes it so beautiful and so unique and these artists and photographers have captured life in all its glory here.

Alice is also planning to run an arts and crafts month in The Arty Gallery during September, so keep an eye out and get involved. I'm keen to go back in a few months to see how this little gem of a place has developed.

You can find The Art Gallery at 30 Stanley Road, Bootle, L20 2AA and on Facebook at The Art Gallery page

You can follow Liverpool's Cultural Champions on our blog at We're also on Twitter @CultureChamps

Peter Greggs, YEP Communicators:

AS VIRAL marketing is becoming a more important tool, the Young Communicators, a strand of the Young Everyman Playhouse, welcomed the opportunity to make a trailer for the coming YEP show of The Wind in the Willows, to be performed at the end of July.

As well as creating flyers and e-letters for the show, the trailer gave us an opportunity to really show that this performance of The Wind in the Willows isn't your average run of the mill version.

The director, Chris Tomlinson and myself then formed a concept of what we wanted the trailer to show. We decided for it to be calm, quaint and 'typical' rural life, until the end, showing the twist in this particular tale.

DSC0444 small.JPGSitting in the garden sulking at the age of eight, my dad appeared exasperated with me.

"I want to go to the show!" I cried, pouting and stifling back tears whilst I angrily prodded at the soil.

I had been given the task of planting seeds in pots outside to distract me from the fact I wouldn't be going to my brother's primary school production of West Side Story that night. It hadn't worked.

My older brother was only in the choir, but it was the promise of the theatre and of one my favourite musical soundtracks which had led me to being upset.

When I was younger, my mum and dad would put on the soundtrack and we would dance around the room first energetically to the Latin sounds of 'America' and then slowly as my dad would pick me up and spin me around the room in a slow dance to 'Maria.'

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LDP Arts Authors

Laura Davis

Laura Davis

As the Liverpool Post's Arts Editor, Laura covers theatre, music, dance and the visual arts in Merseyside and beyond. Contact her at
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